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On Saturday, October 8, the University of Massachusetts football team will host Liberty University. The game would likely have flown under the radar of most college football fans… if not for the fact that UMass announced over the weekend that the Liberty game will coincide with “Pride Day.”

UMass doesn’t have a particularly good football team, but they apparently drafted the finest trolls in the country.

Liberty, of course, has long been one of the most homophobic Christian schools in the country. Campus Pride ranks it among the “Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth,” a fair assessment given that the school will expel anyone in a same-sex relationship. It’s also the former home of Jerry Falwell, Jr. who allegedly enjoyed watching another man have sex with his wife, but whose sex life received a pass until his antics finally caught up with him.

So was the announcement purely coincidental or planned? Sure seems like everyone involved knew what they were doing but there’s no official word that this was done on purpose. (A request for comment from the school’s Assistant Athletic Director for “Marketing, Creative & Digital Strategy” went unanswered as of this writing.)

Was it also coincidental that, two weeks ago, Liberty posted a video on YouTube with the title “Pride Is Our Enemy”?

YouTube video

Whatever the case, after word about the game spread online, even non-UMass fans took notice.

The UMass folks should savor the “Pride Day” public relationship victory while they can because the football team will almost certainly lose to Liberty. When the two teams played last year, UMass lost 62-17 on their way to a 1-11 season.

***Update***: UMass isn’t the first to do this. Earlier this month, the Northwestern University Field Hockey team scheduled their “Pride Game” when facing Liberty as well. (It’s not clear if UMass’ decision was made separately from this or inspired by it.)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.